Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What a Difference One Week Has Made

One week ago today, a bright, new, and glorious chapter of American history began to be written. With a quick stroke of President Obama's pen, the bitterness that most Americans and the world at large have felt towards our presidency began to melt away.

The former president, who left office 8 days ago, often extended his authority with so-called executive orders which usurped the legislative branch of government. One such order was the opening of the Guantanamo Prison in Cuba. President Obama ordered it to be closed on his first-full day in office.

Thankfully we now have a president in the Oval Office who understands the three-branch system of government that was instituted by our Founding Fathers- a system set up expressly to limit executive authority over its citizens. He understands his constitutional limitations and we citizens are well-served by this man. The world knows as well. The closing of Guantanamo has greatly raised the esteem and honor of the United States of America. This act was praised from Finland to Swaziland, from Canada to Argentina. The world now knows that we have a man of character in the office of President of the United States.

Many bloggers ave witten notes of thanks 'for bringing change, legitimacy and responsibility to the White House.' At last, after eight dark, shameful years, we Americans can raise our heads once again, rather than lowering it in shame and disgust. It is, in the words of Ronald Reagan, Morning in America once more.

While standing with the 2 million others gathered on the National Mall last Tuesday, I would hear people around me comment on the bright sun of that crisp morning. That sunshine, pouring down on that sacred space, did more than warm our cold faces; it seemed to indicate to all of those receiving its rays that a new, bright and hopeful future lay before us. In 8 short days President Obama has raised this nation up from the sludge, up from the dishonor, aggression and secrecy of the past 8 years to place this nation on the pedestal of honor from which it had fallen. I thank President Obama for raising this grand city to the place of which John Winthrop spoke: "that we shall be as a city upon a hill—the eyes of all people are upon us"

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